Naperville approves $4 million for 248th Avenue noise walls
Naperville City Council members agreed to spend $4 million to install noise walls along portions of 248th Avenue. But they rejected additional funding to include barriers for the entire stretch between 95th and 103rd streets.
The noise walls, which will be paid for with federal funding, are part of the $9.5 million 248th Avenue improvement plan set to begin in 2026 to widen the road from two to five lanes.
Increased traffic and noise are expected from the widened road and the Islamic Center of Naperville's new mosque and other facilities being built at 3540 248th Ave. Based on a noise analysis model, three-quarters of the residents along 248th Avenue were projected to experience noise levels above 67 decibels, which qualifies for federal noise walls if the areas meet five additional criteria.
City council members at Tuesday's meeting had three options for installing the barriers. After a motion failed 5-4 to install noise walls at both warranted and unwarranted locations for $5.5 million, the city council unanimously approved the $4 million for the warranted segments of 248th Avenue.
Any money beyond the $4 million federal grant would have to be paid for by the city, which was a non-starter for several council members.
"If it doesn't meet the criteria, then we shouldn't be spending the money for a selected few residents that will be getting a huge advantage on the rest of the taxpayers in town," Councilman Paul Hinterlong said.
The two blocks that don't qualify for noise walls are on the east side of 248th Avenue. One was from Grassmere Road to Lapp Lane, and the other was from Landsdown Avenue to Tall Grass Greenway. Both areas were rejected because the homes are set back far enough from 248th Avenue.
City officials said the blocks that qualified for noise walls barely met the criteria, while the blocks that didn't qualify barely missed meeting the criteria.
"I think it also makes sense, in my opinion, to build (the noise walls in unwarranted sections) because it was so close," said Councilman Patrick Kelly, who voted in favor of the $5.5 million option. "It would just seem a little unusual to have the wall on one side and not on the other when it's practically the same."